When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 31


"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."

This was a hard and heartfelt journey for me.  This writing again and opening myself up and putting my thoughts and feelings on paper (or computer).  I started out with a challenge, and managed to keep it.  I wrote every day for 31 days.  But with the challenge has come the blessing of peace and hope.  I learned a great deal from the opportunity.
I learned that hope is a choice.  That as difficult as my life has been, I have never been alone.  I have also learned that being thankful for the blessings I have been given, strengthens and expands my own hope for the possibilities of the future.  The more I acknowledge Him in my life, the more I feel drawn to Him in my everyday existence.  I can endure, I can have faith, I can move on.  Hope is another blessing that I have been given to help me make it through the trials.  It is hope that guides my vision upwards and leads me constantly toward Him.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 30


“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” 

Hope is forcing your wings open and beginning to fly in the face of all obstacles.  It is knowing that HE will carry you on through the winds and rains of trials.  That He is in control and knows what we need.  Hope is believing that He has it all under control, and that somehow, it will all work out alright.  
For me, Hope is a state of doing something.  Opening my mind and my heart to what and who I am as well as to what I can become.  Hope is what helps me become better than I ever thought I could be.   Hope tells me that the journey will be worth the pain. It reminds me that I am a child of God and He has sent me here for a purpose.  I might not know what that is, but I can keep hoping that, through His grace, I can become.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 29


“It’s the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what’s right.” – Peter Parker

It is all about the choices.  It has always been about our own choices.  I think it is so important to realize that no matter what we have chosen in the past, we can still choose to change today.  We can't go back and fix anything, but we can start right now and change the ending.  That is what hope means to me.  It is the ability to change, the ability to repent, the ability to grasp hold of tomorrow with all my might.  Hope is a dream for a better future.  A belief that something or someone is bigger than we are.  Hope is a belief that no matter what has happened today, a better tomorrow will come.  It is a belief that Heavenly Father has it all under control.  He knows just what we need to get us home to Him.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 28

SABBATH DAY SCRIBBLINGS



"The scriptures say that there must be “an opposition in all things.”   So it is with faith, hope, and charity. Doubt, despair, and failure to care for our fellowmen lead us into temptation, which can cause us to forfeit choice and precious blessings.

The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.

Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear."  Dieter F. Uchtdorf

2 Nephi 2:11   "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 27

"Yesterday is gone, 
tomorrow has not yet come, 
we have only today; 
let us begin".  
Mother Teresa

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 26

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY



This is my favorite part of the week.  We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that is posted over at Lisa Jo's
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

So come join us on Fridays.  Come be a part of a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.  Gather together with us to share what five minutes can mean. Just five minutes.

Your words. This shared feast.



Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.


OK, are you ready? Here is my best five minutes on:::

Voice…

START

When I was young, I did not believe that I was lovable, or good, or worthy of love.  I went through many years of my life looking for the feeling of love.  I thought that love was something that had to be pursued.  I used to think that I didn't have a voice because of the things that happened to me.  I thought that my past was so bad, it took my voice from me.  That I couldn't ever make it back to my Heavenly Home.  I used words to try and get attention for others, but I didn't have a voice to make my heart heard.  I have had to learn that I do have a voice.  That no one can take anything from me permanently.  I have a voice in how the past affects my present and my future.  I have a choice to have a voice in the world around me.  I have a voice as a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend and a woman.  I might not have had a voice in my past, but I choose to have a voice now.  That voice gives me hope.  It gives me strength.  It gives me love.  I choose to use my voice. 

STOP 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 25




Optimism is a strategy for making a better future.
Because unless you believe that the future can be better,
you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.
If you assume there is no hope,
you guarantee there will be no hope. 
Norm Chomsky 

One of the things that I have been working on the past few months is to change the way that I look at things.  I have been more pessimistic than I would like to be.  I worry and stress too much, and can't seem to put the difficulties aside.  I am learning that we need to believe the future can be better or it never will be.  We need to find our own whisper of hope in our hearts.  We need to believe that we can survive this moment.  We can all find something wrong with our lives.  We all struggle and walk up our own mountains.  We don't even know what those we meet might be going through.  We can each worry over today and tomorrow.  We can stress and struggle with our trials, or we can hope and work toward a better day.  
I think we need to believe that our Heavenly Father is there, we need to believe that He loves us, we need to believe that He knows our trials, and we need to believe that He will not leave us alone.  
I have found my hope in the knowledge of His love.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 24


Be Still, My Soul

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

This is one of my all time favorite hymns.  I love the second verse where it says, "Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake".  I am learning that hope is really up to me.  Be still my soul.  Be quiet and listen to His voice.  He is there if I will only listen for Him.  He is reaching out to me if I will only reach up and out to Him.  He has never left my side no matter what my sorrow.  And so today, I tell myself, "Be still, be still".  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 23



This is the beginning of a new day.
You have been given this day to use as you will.
You can waste it or use it for good.
What you do today is important because
you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
When tomorrow comes,
this day will be gone forever;
in its place is something
that you have left behind...
let it be something good.
~Author Unknown~

I think that hope is a chance to take each moment and use it for good.  To put the past behind you and live a better life.  To make better decisions and better choices.   If we did not have hope, there would be no reason for tomorrow.  No chance to change the todays of our lives.  Remember that each of us struggles with trials.  Each of us has our own trial to bear.  
The girls went on a walk yesterday.  The leaders took them all to a place that they did not know and they walked ten miles to the Snowflake Temple.  It was a hard journey.  Up hills and down.  My daughter had injured herself on Saturday and her knee was swollen and sore.  She twisted her ankle on the walk and she struggled a bit on her journey, but she walked all the way and made it at last to the doors of the Temple.  
I find her journey a beautiful testament to hope.  Her own chance to make good choices.  She could have whined the entire way.  She could have gotten a ride.  She could have given up and justified it with her injuries.  Instead, she bit her lip and kept going.  She wanted to finish with the rest of the girls.  She wasn't at the front of the pack, as a matter of fact, she was one of the last ones, but she finished her journey.
We each walk our own journey of hope.  We each struggle with the hills and valleys in our lives.  But ultimately, our goal is to arrive at the doors of our Heavenly Home.  Hope is what gives us the strength to endure whatever hardships might be ours.  Hope is what gives us the vision to take the next step, walk the next mile, finish the next hill.  Hope is what gets us, finally, home.   

Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 22


When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you're slamming the door 
in the face of God. 
 ~Charles L. Allen~

I found this saying today, and it really struck me.  I have lost hope before.  I have felt alone and lonely.  I have felt like there was no way that I could endure the trials that surrounded me.  I have felt so far away from God.  But, until I read this one sentence, I never realized that I was the one slamming the door in His face.  It always seemed as if the circumstances were against me, as if life conspired to be not fair, as if God did not listen.  In actuality, He never left me.  I was the one who turned away.  I didn't do it on purpose.  I didn't do it knowingly, but neverless, it was a choice that I made to lose my hope in Him.  I forgot that He knows everything and it happens in His time and in His way.  Somehow, I forgot that the most important part of hope is simply trust.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 21

Sabbath Day Scribblings


"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."   Anne Lamont


"The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light.We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will “work together for [our] good” 27 as we follow the counsel of God’s prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair".  Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 20



In the mountains, the sky is blue, the ponderosa pines are standing tall and green and waving in the gentle breeze.  The grasses are turning yellow and brown, the flowers are gone now and the mornings are definitely chilly.   Autumn has come with a full array of colors and a change in the weather.  The glories of the spring and the summer are over and the earth welcomes in the changing of the season.  Welcomes in hope, that all things will pass and renew again.  The summer is past, the harvest is ended, yet will spring come once again.  We are surrounded by hope.  It speaks to us through the seasons and through the world around us.  Sometimes, we just forget to open our eyes and really see.  
"We live in a unique time in the world’s history. We are blessed with so very much. And yet it is sometimes difficult to view the problems and permissiveness around us and not become discouraged. I have found that, rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.I never cease to be amazed by how the Lord can motivate and direct the length and breadth of His kingdom and yet have time to provide inspiration concerning one individual. The fact that He can, that He does, is a testimony to me."  President Thomas S. Monson

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 19


Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back over at Lisa Jo's and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. 

OK, are you ready? Won’t you please give me your best five minutes on:::
LOOK

Start
Hope can be hard for me to find.  I have discovered that I have to look within myself for it.  It is not enough to wish for it, or want it.  I have really have to focus on it.  I can get so caught up in my feelings and what is going on around me, that I have a hard time getting past the trial of the moment, to find the hope.  It is hard to look at the positive possibilities for the future if I can't get my thoughts past the present.  I am learning to let go, forgive, and move on.  I wish that I could say that it gets easier, but I just keep telling myself, "He never promised us it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it."  Somehow, I believe, that if I keep looking up, it will be worth it in ways that I can't even imagine.  
STOP
Now it is your turn.  What can you write in just five minutes?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 18



“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.” 
Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters


That is what we hope for, just a moment, a portion, a small piece of the best.  That is what we live for and pray for and wish for.  But I don't think it is usually the best things that we want.  I don't think that it is material stuff that we need.  I think that vision, that hope, is to find the best in ourselves.  Something that speaks to our hearts and reminds us who we are.  
We all have trials and difficulties.  Sometimes, life feels to me like we go from letter to letter, with a lot of losing in between.  The trials can sometimes be the only things we see.  They can be so overwhelming that we forget to hope, we forget to dream.  Sometimes, we even forget how to really live.  We get so focused on what has happened; on the sorrow and the heartache that surrounds us, that we forget to look ahead at the possibilities.  We look so hard at the negative, that we forget to enjoy the good letters when they come.   We forget that in all our anguish, there are still good things.  Perhaps, one of the best ways to have hope is to start believing that good things will happen.    That the darkness will pass.  That the light will shine again.  Part of allowing ourselves to hope, is to believe that there is more than just this moment.  It is to believe in our own personal best.  It is to believe that we will succeed and move on.  Hope can be lost easily, but, with just a little more effort, it can also be found.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 17


“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. 
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. 
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  
It was never between you and them anyway.” 
― Mother Teresa

Having hope means for me that I need to be better than I want to be.  Forgiveness, kindness, honesty, happiness, and goodness are all qualities that I want to find in myself.  Sometimes, the noises of the world surround us and drown out the whisper of hope.  That part that is inside us that reminds us of what is most important.  Especially when we listen to others who are unkind or uncaring.  We end up surrounded in the noise of unhappiness and despair.
Because to listen to what others are saying, is to hear that if we are not perfect, if we don’t do what others think is "right" than we are simply not good enough.  Those voices of "not good enough" can follow each one of us and change the way we view the world around us.  Those real or imagined voices can take away our hope.  
Those voices prey upon our mistakes, as well as the mistakes of those we love.  Those voices would have us think that life is a competition against each other instead of a journey to share.  They would have us give up.  They would have us hurt back.  They would have us forget where we came from and where we are going.  They would have us lose all hope.   
So, I am learning that I need to have hope anyway.  I need to act as if all is well.  I need to be the person that I dream of being.  I think that Mother Teresa is right.  It really is between me and my Heavenly Father.    

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 16



When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'. 

This is my hope.  That I could use everything my Heavenly Father has given me.  That I could make the lives of those around me just a little bit better.  That I could do what He wants me to do, say what He wants me to say, and be what He would want me to be.  Perhaps that is part of what hope is about for me.  It is the desire to be more than I can ever be on my own.  I know that I need Him in every part of my life.  I can never go back and change the past, but I can change what happens from here on out.  My hope, is that when I stand before Him, He will make all the difference.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 15


True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome.  True hope responds to the real world, to real life; it is an active effort.
Walter Anderson

Oh, I like that, "an active effort".  This year has been a year of learning for me.  A year of discovery.  Often, it has been things I would rather not know, nevertheless, I AM learning and it IS an active effort on my part to keep hope alive.   I think that hope can be easy to take for granted.  For me, it was something that I thought I should have, if I just had faith enough, or courage enough, or testimony enough.  I didn't realize that I could choose to have hope, even when everything else was in short supply.
Hope is a choice, but when you choose it, you have to be willing to wait awhile.  I have discovered that prayers are seldom answered right at the moment that I ask.  I usually need to be willing to wait and listen, hoping that things will turn out for the best.  This month, as I have struggled to put forth the effort to find hope, I am feeling the subtle whispers stirring within.  I am breathing in the moment and letting it go, and loving the feeling of hope again.    

Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 14

Sabbath Day Scribblings


"Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

—Jeffrey R. Holland, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come", Liahona and Ensign, November 1999

Saturday, October 13, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 13



“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination." 
Marion Zimmer Bradley

Isn't it wonderful to think and believe that hope is a choice.  We all have a journey to travel, and I know that the journey is made better with hope.  I have been traveling a difficult road in the past several months.  At first, I lost my hope.  I could only focus on the difficulties, on the possible negatives.  My eyes, my mind and my heart were closed to the hope of better things.  I have discovered that the journey can be horrible, or amazing.  It really is up to me.  There used to be a sign along one of the old pioneer tracks that said simply, "Choose your rut carefully, you will be in it for the next 30 miles".  We all travel in a rut or two along the way.  Often, we can't change the direction of the journey, but we can choose the rut that we are traveling in. It might still be uncomfortable, it might still be hard, it might still even be one of the most difficult things we have ever endured, but we can choose to endure it well, we can choose to struggle through the rut and we can choose hope along the way.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 12



Now, is one of my favorite times of the week.  This is my moment to sit, think, and write.  This is my time to be "real".  To be myself.  To write exactly what I am thinking in my own way.  Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
These are the only rules:1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.2. Link back over at Lisa Jo's and invite others to join in.3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
The challenge for this week is:

RACE.....
GO
Sometimes I feel hopeless, sometimes I feel depressed.  It is not that I want to feel that way.  It's not that I look for those feelings, or strive to keep them close to me.  It just seem like I can never get everything that needs doing, done.  So many days pass by in a blur of motion.  I work, I drive girls here, there, and everywhere.  I go to the school, I fight with the school, I lose to the school.  I take them on the three hour drive twice a month for specialists.  If I am lucky, and I actually get to wait for a moment or two, I read; pretty much everything that I can get my hands on.  My life is a race.  It seems as if I never sit still or be still or even feel still.  It is hard to find hope in the noisiness of living.  I am exhausted and struggling with the race that is so much a part of me.  Yet, as I sit here spilling out the pieces of me that are hard, I remember the council I was given a long time ago:  
"The goal is not to win the race; but to run it in honor and dignity, in testimony and worthiness".  Marvin J. Ashton
I think that Heavenly Father knew that we would race.  That these times would be fast paced, and seemingly never ending.  I think that He know peace would be hard to find in the chaos that surrounds us.  He has said to us:
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
It is time for me to wait upon the Lord and stop my racing.  It is time for me to embrace His promise.  To run and not be weary; to walk and not faint.  Life is not in the race, it is in the hope and the waiting.  

STOP

Now, what can you write in just five minutes.  Give it a try and don't forget to go over to Lisa Jo's and join us!! 



Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 11



Luke 11:9-10.  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened".
Christopher Reeve once said, “Once you choose hope, anything's possible.” He said this from a wheel chair while a respirator that was enabling his body to breath.  To me, this man is an amazing example of hope.  He lived and died a hero for his commitment to hope and the cause of treating spinal cord injuries.  Christopher Reeve never gave up on his hope that paralysis from spinal cord injuries would one day be a thing of the past.  His hope lives on in his foundation which continues to fund research and treatment for those who suffer from spinal cord injuries.
Doctrine and Covenants 42:61 "If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal".
So, today, I want to write for a brief moment about what hope can mean in our lives and the blessing of passing on our hope to others. My hope comes from knowing that every time I knock, God answers.  He may not give me exactly what I want, when I want it, how I want it..... but He answers.  I continue to learn that His ways will truly bless me.  Part of life is to embrace the sad times, the painful times, all those seemingly hopeless and despairing times. Hope allows us to move on and rejoice in spite of our difficulties.    It allows us to stand with others who are in pain and sorrow and to help them through their trials.  Hope springs when we help to make things better in the world for each other.  Both for those we know as well as for those we don't know.    

Alma 7:24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 days of Hope - Day 10


Hope is not the conviction
that something will turn out well,
but the certainty that something makes sense
regardless of how it turns out.
Vaclav Havel


Perhaps that has been my problem this year.  I wanted the conviction that all would be well.  I wanted the guarantee.  I wanted to know that, no matter what I went through, it would all be right in the end.  I wanted it all the make sense to me and I wanted all the bad feelings that the adversity to just go away. 
I am finally coming to understand that things don't have to turn out the way I want them too in order for me to have hope.  I am coming to believe that hope is the ability to see that God is in control, and that no matter what happens, I will get through it and it will become a strength to me.  In other words, I need to be able to let go in order to have hope.  I need to be willing to turn it all over to Him and to know that He will take care of it.  Even if it is not quite the way that I would choose to see it done. 
I am learning that the word hope can easily be misunderstood.  In our society today, it carries with it a hint of uncertainty.  We "hope" good things will happen.  But in the scriptures, we get a clearer meaning of the word hope.  It is sure, unwavering and firm.  The Apostle Paul taught,
“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
The principle of hope can sustain us in our everyday lives.  Hope can help us to bear our burdens and to turn our eyes toward God.  Hope can remind of who we are and just who is really in charge.  Hope can change our lives if we will just let it in.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 9



HOPE
by Patricia A. Pitterle

Hope whispers in the darkness of the night;
One small star, shinning through the inky blackness.
A word, a prayer, a feeling, a touch
Hope sings like a melody into my heart 
and I feel a glimmer of posibilities
stretching into the horizon of my future.
Hope whispers into my soul
and my faith flickers, once again, into life.
I know that He is in control,
that He knows what I need.
I feel the promise of His love
as He shares His tender mercies with me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 8


One of the most interesting things that I am learning in my journey of hope is to just breath.  Stop, breath, and wait.  I think that I need to give hope a time a place to grow.  If I spend every moment in worry and depression, I don't take the time that hope needs to take root in my life.
I am learning that it is easy for me to see the problems and the worries instead of the kindness and goodness that still surrounds me.  My focus has too often been one of negativity, which discourages hope;  instead of one that looks to the positive and encourages hope in my daily routine.
Waiting and pondering is something that has really started to help me feel more hope.  I think that the more busy I am, the less I take the time to pause and look for things to feel hope in.  Yet, if I just take the time to stop and breath and look around me, I can always find a blessing that reminds me that hope is possible.
We learn in church that all things come line upon line and precept upon precept.  Here and little and there a little.  I am also learning that often, I need to learn the lessons again at different points in my struggles.  The things that were trials to me 30 years ago, are not the same trials I have today.  Each time I experience difficulty, I am learning to live with hope.
I am learning that inch by inch, foot by foot, yard by yard, and mile by mile, anything can be handled if we just worry about what needs to happen today.  I love the saying, "you can eat an elephant if you just eat it one bite at a time".
We can have hope in our ability to handle a single moment, a single bite, a single breath.  Hope is waiting for you to see it.  

"No matter how dark the moment, 
love and hope are always possible".   

George Chakiris

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sabbath Day Scribbling - 31 Days of Hope - Day 7



"[The] early Saints were indeed homeless, but they were not hopeless. Their hearts were broken, but their spirits were strong. They had learned a profound and important lesson. They had learned that hope, with its attendant blessings of peace and joy, does not depend upon circumstance. They had discovered that the true source of hope is faith—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 6


“My message to you today, my brothers and sisters, is simply this: the Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. He has given us adequate instruction that, if followed, will see us safely through any crisis. His purposes will be fulfilled, and someday we will understand the eternal reasons for all of these events. Therefore, today we must be careful to not overreact, nor should we be caught up in extreme preparations; but what we must do is keep the commandments of God and never lose hope!”


This year, I am learning that Hope is not for the faint of heart!  Sometimes, it is hard to find, and even harder to keep.  But I am also learning that I can find it in the small, familiar blessings of my day to day existence.  I can hold it in the gifts of love from my children and my husband.  I can see it in their kindness and caring.   Hope warms my heart when I am weary and strengthens my knees when they are weak.  Hope helps me to remember that the Lord is the one in control and not me.  I can't fix anything.  I don't have that kind of power.  But I do have the power to trust and find hope in His words and teachings.  I choose to allow that hope to be a comfort and a blessing.  I choose to remember that this too shall pass away.  I choose to believe that the Lord loves me and is mindful of me and that peace is possible after all.   

Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 5 - Five Minute Friday

I love Fridays.  Especially when I visit over at Lisa Jo's for her weekly Five minute Friday.  I wasn't sure I would be able to work my 31 day series into my Five Minute passion.  Turns out, it is not a problem at all.  So, if you are like minded, set your timer, clear your head for five minutes to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.


1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back over at Lisa Jo's and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, and's or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..



WELCOME.......

START

I welcome the feelings of hope that are starting to nestle within my breast.  The warm feelings of might be's, maybe's, and possibilities.  I welcome the comfort of hope that begins in the dark, stubborn places of my heart and slowly spreads into my thoughts and finally my actions.  The knowledge that the difficulties I am facing will somehow all work out.  Maybe not quite the way I would choose them to be, but still, a way that we can live with, forgive and understand.  I can't change the past.  I can't fix the start, and I can't see the ending, I didn't want the beginnings, but here, sitting in the middle of hard places, I can welcome the hope of the finish.  I can welcome the rainbow that comes after the rain.  I can welcome the thought that if I just continue to show up and try to do the right thing, the sun will rise again, the dawn will come, and hope will whisper on my shoulder. Life will go on and happiness is right around the corner; waiting to welcome me home.

STOP

Now it is your turn.  What can you write in your own five minutes?



Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 4

Once you choose hope, 
anything's possible.  
~Christopher Reeve


HOPE 
by Patricia A Pitterle

In this life that we are living
Things don’t always work out
Quite the way we planned.
Sometimes, it is as simple
As a choice gone wrong.
Often, it is more complicated
Than that.
Other people get involved,
We get our feelings hurt.
Trials happen,
Tears fall,
Disaster beckons.
But, through it all,
A glimmer of hope
Anchors me to the things
Most important
In my life. 
Hope ties me tightly
To those that I love.
Hope for the future,
Hope for the present,
Hope for love lost
And love found.
Hope gives me the courage
To keep trying
No matter how rough
The road I am traveling on
May be.
Hope gives me the confidence
To continue on
Into the twilight
Of tomorrow’s dreams.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 3




PRACTCIE MKAES PREFRET

PARCTICE MAEKS PERRFET

PRATCICE MKAES PERFCET

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.


One of the most amazing things about hope for me is that the more we practice it, the more we seem to find it and have it with us.  I can't imagine my daughter picking up the violin and playing Mozart perfectly the very first time.  She has to learn: one note at a time, one string at a time, one finger at a time, one swipe with the bow at a time.  Each note is played and learned and perfected.  And it takes years to become good.
I wonder why we can be so hard on ourselves when we struggle.  When we lose hope.  When we need help.  I think we often forget the lesson of practice and time.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for.  Not admire from a distance but live right in it,  under it's roof".  Barbara Kingsolver (1955-___) US novelist
I love that quote.  "Not admire from a distance, but live right in it, under it's roof".  What a beautiful description of hope.  We can't change things if we only wish.  I think we have to be willing to hope that it can happen and then try to do what we need to do to bring it to pass.  Hope comes first, then the practice, and finally the change.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days of Hope - Day 2



Job 11:18 And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; 
yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety.

I believe that sometimes, we need to be reminded to hope.  We need to remember that we can be secure.   I am learning that hope is a choice to make.  I choose to be hopeful.  I choose to take my rest.  I choose to believe.  One of the greatest blessings that I cling to is the knowledge that God is real in my life.  That He knows me.  He knows who I am.  Both the person that I am deep inside, and the person that I am striving to be.  He knows my name.
One of my favorite poems reminds me to hope when times seem dark, when no one believes in me, when I might not even know my own worth.  I still have value to Him and I am worth saving.  Hope is what I hold to my heart when belief isn't quite enough.




Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer
Though it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time with the old violin
But he held it up with a smile

What am I bidden, good folk, he cried
Who'll start the bidding for me
A dollar, a dollar, come, who'll make it two
Two dollars, now who'll make it three

Three dollars once and three dollars twice
Going for three -- but no
From the back of the room a grey haired man
Stepped forward and picked up the bow

And brushing the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the loose strings
He played a melody as pure and sweet
As the caroling angels sing

When the music ceased the old auctioneer
In a voice that was quiet and low
Asked, What am I bid for the old violin
And he held it up with the bow

A thousand dollars -- come, who'll make it two
Two thousand, and who'll make it three
Three thousand once and three thousand twice
And going and gone, cried he

The people cheered, but some of them cried
We do not quite understand
What changed its worth -- swift came the reply
T'was the touch of the master's hand

And many a man with life out of tune
And battered and scarred with sin
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine
A game and he travels on
He's going once and he's going twice
He's going and almost gone

But the master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the master's hand





Monday, October 1, 2012

31 days of Hope - Day 1


I have decided to participate on a project of writing for 31 days about the same subject.  The Nester hosts a series every October where crazy fools all write every day for an entire month. Last year over 700 people participated.  I wanted to see if I could join them.  Writing every day might not be the problem, but writing every day on the same subject????  That makes it just a little more interesting. 

The rules are simple, you can pick any subject that you want to, you just have to write about it for the entire month of October.  I haven't tried this before and don't know how successful I will be, but I have chosen to write short blogs about Hope.
Wikepedia describes Hope as:  Hope is the emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Despair is the opposite of hope. 
Hope is the "feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best" or the act of "look[ing] forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence" or "feel[ing] that something desired may happen". 
Other definitions are "to cherish a desire with anticipation"; "to desire with expectation of obtainment"; or "to expect with confidence".

I love that last line:  To expect with confidence.

Hope is something that I have felt bereft of lately.  The funny thing has been that I didn't even know that being without hope was the problem.  Living each day without hope can take so much out of you.  It impacts every single area of your life.  It causes exhaustion.  It causes doubt and despair.  It leaves your heart aching and your soul full of sorrow. 
Hope is necessary in all that we do.  It is the one thing that helps us to have the strength to go on.  Hope reminds us that we can get through whatever part of the road we are currently on.  One of my all-time favorite quotes is simply:  "The Bible often says, it came to pass;  it never says, it came to stay."
That phrase is about hope.  The ability to look beyond today and into the next moment, the next day, the next week and finally into forever. 




"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Emily Dickinson

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Adversity


“Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner's fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong.”

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Grasp


1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back over at Lisa Jo's and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Here is my best five minutes on:::

Grasp…


GO

Many years ago, when I was much younger and more limber, I used to climb cliffs for fun.  My favorite type of climbing was face climbing.  This is accomplished by looking for a crack that runs along the face of a cliff and putting your fingertips and toes into that crack, grasping with all your might and then climbing the long, difficult journey to the top.  Sometimes, the climb would be so difficult, that I would slip from the crack and fall on the rope until I could grasp again and continue onward.  Most of the time, my fingertips and knuckles (and even my knees and elbows) would be scrapped and bleeding long before I was done.  I would arrive at the top, bruised, out of breath, heart racing, and completely relieved that I had made it at last. 
Today, I might not grasp at the edge of real cliffs anymore, However, the metaphorical and less physical ones seem to abound and still manage to exhaust me in the climb.  I grasp at hope each inch of the way.   I grasp at friendship to help me make the journey, I grasp at love and hold it tight so that I might not forget what is best and good in this world.  I grasp at faith that all things will somehow work out and most of all I grasp at trust.  Trust in His vision for what I need.  Trust in His knowledge of what is to come.  Trust in His ability to catch me as I struggle and fall. 
I grasp and in the grasping I lean and learn that it is alright to let go.

STOP

Now it is your turn!  What can you write in just five minutes?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Have Mountains To Climb


I know that it has been a long time since I have written.  I really can't share all the reasons why, but I can say that currently I am climbing a mountain that I have never had to climb before and that I never imagined I would ever climb.  I felt like I couldn't find anything positive to say.  I have felt lost, sad, depressed and anxious. 
Anyone that reads me regularly, knows that I really do try to keep the positive going on my blog.  That is not to say that I don't have trials.  It is just that I have learned so much be trying to focus on the things in life that really are good.  That bring me up instead of pulling me down.  I have chosen to honor courage and strength through the trials. 
But, for a while now, I could not find courage and strength within myself.  I am still out here.  I read many of you daily.  I am working through this, and I do know Heavenly Father loves me.  I also understand just how hard  life can be.  I know that I will learn and grow from the trials, it is just that sometimes, I don't want to.   
I will keep writing, it might not be as often as before.  I am going to take it slow and easy and just start to find myself once again.  I listened to this wonderful talk in conference two weeks ago.  I found peace in the words and wanted to share a small measure with you.  I hope that it reminds you how very much you are Loved, that you have always been loved, and you will always be loved.
"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service, because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right, to bear us up. And He always keeps His word."


—President Henry B. Eyring, "Mountains to Climb", General Conference, Apr. 2012
May you feel the comfort of those angels bearing you up through your burdens is my prayer for you this day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Believe


“God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as he always has. But he can't if you don't pray, and he can't if you don't dream. In short, he can't if you don't believe.” ― Jeffrey R. Holland - 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Trust



Around here I like to participate in an exercise called Five Minute Fridays. We write for five minutes flat. We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.


On Fridays we just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. Won’t you join us?



1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back to the Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

Trust…
START 
Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
My life has been filled with too many dark things. I learned early that trust was not something to take for granted. I learned to do things by myself and for myself. I learned that I could depend on myself and not those around me. 
Time passed and I grew up. One of the hardest lessons in my life has been to learn to trust again. To learn that I do not need to carry all the burdens for myself, that I do not need to depend only on myself. I had to learn that there were those who could be trusted and would not let me down.
Trust is something that I still struggle with.  In those struggles, I have learned to trust the only One that really matters. I have learned to know that He is there.  That He loves me.  That He is mindful of me, and that He cares for my needs.  I have learned that He will be with me, not only in the good times, but also in the difficult ones.  That although He doesn't take away the trials, He can and will heal the pain.  
I have learned that even in the darkness, there is peace.    

STOP

Now it's your turn.  What can you write about trust in just five minutes?
Don't forget to join us over here with your words.